GOP Rep Feuds With Gallego Over Dem’s Refusal to Support Hispanic Caucus Membership

Curbelo's communications director says 'Gallego rubbed his ear wax' on her shoulder

Rep. Ruben Gallego/ Getty Images

In the midst of a heated debate over whether Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.) will be permitted to join the all-Democrat Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), his communications director tweeted out that a member who opposes Curbelo joining, Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.), once "rubbed his earwax" on her shoulder.

A feud between Curbelo and the all-Democratic caucus has developed because the current members believe his interest in joining the caucus is based on his desire to boost his reelection chances in a Latino-heavy district, Politico reported. They have also been clashing because Curbelo refuses to sign the caucus' signature bill, the DREAM Act.

"They think I have some magical wand or something. Me signing onto that bill is going to have little, if any, effect," Curbelo said in an interview. "A lot of them are taking the approach it has to be this or nothing. I also don’t want to be a part of that message because I don’t agree with that."

Washington Examiner reporter Laura Barrón-López‏ tweeted on Tuesday that Gallego said he was "voting no" on Curbelo's upcoming CHC vote.

Curbelo's communication director Joanna Rodriguez said in response: "Considering Rep. Gallego rubbed his ear wax on my shoulder after removing his earpiece from an @MSNBC hit, not surprising he’s not choosing to be classy now."

Cubelo asked Gallego to apologize to his staffer for rubbing his earwax on her shoulder and said he does "not tolerate any disrespect" towards his staff.

He also sent out a series of tweets pushing back against criticism from Democrats, saying they were "perpetrat[ing] bigotry and discrimination against a Hispanic."

Curbelo's denied an accusation that he ever made statements about Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham's (D., N.M.) "language abilities." Democrats said Curbelo took a jab at the CHC chairwoman a few weeks back, BuzzFeed first reported. They said he alluded to her inability to speak Spanish at a private meeting after he accused her of discriminating against him because he is a Republican. The jab infuriated other caucus members and caused some to reconsider their votes after initially being in favor of allowing Curbelo to join the caucus.

The full list of CHC members can be viewed here.